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Charity…Thinketh No Evil

Victor M. Eskew




A.     Outdoor Lifestyle

1.       A couple made an interesting arrangement at the beginning of their marriage.

a.       When the wife got angry, she would tell her husband off and get it out of her system.

b.      When the husband got angry, he would take a walk.

2.       At the age of 75, the husband said that it was this arrangement was responsible for his outdoor lifestyle.

3.       NOTE:  This couple found a way to never let resentment impact their marriage.


B.     Resentment is the key element of our lesson today about one of love’s qualities (I Cor. 13:5).


…thinketh no evil.


C.     Let’s continue to follow our pattern of study found in previous lessons.

1.       Defining the quality

2.       Looking at Bible examples

3.       Making application to our lives




A.     Strong (3049):  to take inventory


B.     Thayer

1.       To reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

2.       To make an account of

3.       To consider, take into account weigh


C.     Robertson:  to count up, to take account of as in a ledger or notebook (e-sword)


D.    Vincent: 

1.       Literally:  reckoneth not the evil

2.       Taketh not account


E.      Jeremiah:  “The Greek word translated by the phrase ‘thinketh no evil’ is a word which means ‘to take into account.’  It is a bookkeeping term which means to calculate or reckon, as when you are figuring or entering into a ledger” (80).


F.      Translations

1.       KJV:  thinketh no evil

2.       ASV:  taketh not account of evil

3.       NKJV:  thinks no evil

4.       NASV:  does not take into account a wrong suffered

5.       ESV:  is not resentful

6.       NIV:  keeps no record of wrongs

7.       NLT:  it keeps no record of being wronged

8.       Phillips:  It does not keep account of evil

9.       Message:  does not keep score on the sins of others





G.     There are two applications of the phrase, “thinketh no evil.”

1.       The first involves how we perceive the motives of others.  “We desire to think well of the man whom we love; nor will we think ill of his motives, opinions, or conduct until we are compelled to do so by the most unbreakable evidence” (e-sword, Barnes).

2.       The other application deals with past wrongs and hurts we have suffered from others.  The one who loves does not keep these wrongs in a ledger to continually use against another person.




A.     Jonathan did not want to believe the evil of his father toward David (I Sam. 20:1-2).


And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done?  What is mine iniquity?  And what is my sin before thy father, that he doth seek my life?  And he said unto him, God forbid, thou shalt not die:  behold my father will do nothing either great or small, but that he will shew it to me:  and why should my father hide this thing from me:  it is not so.


B.     There are numerous examples of those who did keep a record of the wrongs of others.

1.       Joseph’s brethren.

a.       Joseph had dreams of his rise to power within his family that he told to his father and brothers (Gen. 37:5, 11).

b.      When Joseph came to find his brothers in the field, they exhibit their record keeping toward him (Gen. 37:18-20).


And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.  And they said one to another, Behold, the dreamer cometh.  Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we shall say, some evil beast hath devoured him:  and we shall see what shall become of his dreams.


2.       David, the king of Israel

a.       He told his son, Solomon, to execute revenge on two men.

1)       Joab (I Kings 2:5-6)

2)       Shimei (I Kings 2:8-9)  NOTE:  Look at the promise David had made to Shimei (II Sam. 19:23).


Therefore the king said unto Shimei, Thou shalt not die.  And the king sware unto him.


3.       The elder brother (Luke 15:30)


But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.




A.     Love does not put evil motives upon the actions of others unnecessarily.

1.       Clark:  “Believes no evil where no evil seems” (e-sword).

2.       What makes it so hard to trust the motive of others?

a.       We have been hurt in the past.

b.      We know what our motives and intentions might be in certain circumstances and we project them on to others.


B.     Love does not harbor resentment.

1.       How many of us can remember something someone has done to us that was evil or sinful?

a.       Can you remember all of the horrible details?

b.      Can you paint the picture of the betrayal to another person?

c.       Has the person asked for your forgiveness?




2.       Chart


Wrongs Recorded……….……Resentment…………………Rumination………………….Bitterness…………….Unhappiness

                                   Inner Anger                             Pencil, pen, marker                   Hebrews 12:15      Blame 

                                                                               stenciled, engraved                                     Revenge



3.       At the root of every wrong recorded is resentment.

a.       “Resentment is the accumulation of unexpressed anger” (Jeremiah, 82).

b.      Resentment seems to raise its head the ugliest in homes and within the church.  Individuals seem to be armed with an endless list of ways other people have hurt, harmed, and wronged them.

c.       The dangers of resentment:

1)       If held long enough, resentment becomes part of who we are.

2)       “Peace of mind – not to mention peace with our partner – is the price we pay for keeping resentment alive” (Parrott, 60).

3)       “…a record of wrongs only drives the offender farther from your circle of love” (Parrott, 61).

4.       Why we hold on to resentment:

a.       Seeking some form of justice

b.      Keeps us in the right

c.       Give us “one up” on the other person

d.      We do not know how to let go of it

e.       We get satisfaction as we think of the revenge that could be carried out

f.        It gives us a form of control over another

g.       As long as there is resentment, we do not have to fulfill our responsibilities to the other person.

5.       “Love forgives.  Love does not just forgive and forget.  Love remembers and still forgives” (Jeremiah, 82).

6.       Paul’s attitude toward those who hurt him is expressed in several passages.

a.       Romans 15:30-31

b.      I Corinthians 4:3-5

c.       II Corinthians 6:3-13

d.      II Corinthians 12:7-10

e.       Philippians 1:15-19

f.        II Thessalonians 3:6-15

g.       II Timothy 4:14-18




A.     Wrongs are a part of life and no record can ever right them.


B.     Two quotes about ledgers:

1.       “Love, instead of entering evil as a debt in it account book, voluntarily passes a sponge over what it endures” (Godet, quoted by Vincent, e-sword).

2.       “Surrender the compulsion to clear up every misunderstanding and let the ledger stay unbalanced” (Parrott, 61).


C.     John Chrysostom:  “…a wrong done against love should be like a spark that falls into the sea and is quenched” (as quoted by Jeremiah, 82).